Is there a full list of racing games with eSports involvement?

  • Thread starter MIE1992
United States
I'm mostly asking as a prospective spectator, and/or someone who's highly curious about the potential for racing games as an eSport. I know that these following games can have a varying quality in themselves, let alone in terms of realism, but I just want to see a list out of curiosity. I know that there is the following, at least:

- Gran Turismo Sport. Looking forward to other competitive events beyond the daily races, personally. Maybe ranked versions of championship events from the GT series, like the one-make for the Mazda Roadster ND, where you can gain points in occasional races - so you can win the overall championship without necessarily winning every single race. Also, I'm wondering if they've necessarily archived the races with other GT Academy contestants in the GT5 & GT6 era. I also cannot remember if GT Academy is planned to continue, or if the FIA championship is its successor.

- Forza Motorsport (idk which games had championships, though. I *do* know there was that Ford-sponsored Forza RC series, and the more recent Le Mans series, as posted on GTPlanet in the last couple days.)

- Project CARS (not sure if PCARS 2 can be included as well)

- F1 by CodeMasters (Like with Forza, not sure when they started being more official about it. Doesn't this series actually work with the actual Formula One series?)

- WRC by [various devs] (I think MileStone was one of the devs, and that these games are also associated with the official WRC series.)

- DiRT Rally & DiRT 4 (Isn't this associated with the ESL, like with Project CARS?)

- iRacing (I know there's the Peak Antifreeze championship and the more recent Ignite series, but were there any other series?)

- Assetto Corsa (I know Competizione is gonna be working with the Blancpain GT series, but what about "normal" AC? Did they have anything official, with ESL or otherwise?)

- Didn't Mario Kart have something official, too?

- rFactor 2 and Formula E

- McLaren and "World's Fastest Gamer"

Ideally, I'd like a potential list of YouTube/Twitch channels for each official league, and/or the structure of each series. (E.g. points, qualifying, what determines the winner, that sort of stuff.)

I do have a broader hypothesis, though, namely that the more "fantastical" a racing game can be, or the more "divergent" it can be from a real-world counterpart, it could become more entertaining to watch. For example, GT Sport has a combination of real-world race cars and made-for-game racers, like the VGTs and the Alfa Romeo 4C Gr.3, but even without that latter group, not every class is 1:1 the same as IRL. A good example being Gr.1, and how it involves both LMP1s that never competed alongside IRL (Peugeot 908, the 2011-spec Audi R18, and the Porsche 919 for example) but also older Group C cars. (I know adding Group C racers to Gr.1, however, is not without controversy, and has completely legitimate critiques. Just ask @Alpha Cipher.) Similarly, Gr.3 isn't just made up of FIA GT3 cars, but also has a GTE car with the 911 RSR, and could include more GTE cars like the BMW M8 and 2nd-gen Ford GT, but also the JAF-GT Super GT300 cars like the Toyota Prius or Subaru BR-Z. The last of which are known for racing alongside FIA GT3 cars, as well.

This is opposed to a racing league that simply is a 1:1 recreation of a real league, and without other intricacies that cannot be practically replicated in-game - this could be due to it being too costly from a developer perspective, or it may make the game a bit less accessible to the general population. Stuff like how an LMP1 car like the 2016 Audi R18 can have multiple body configurations over the course of a real-world series' season. I think for a lot of those, that's where sim racing is far more fun as an entrant rather than a spectator, unless you're emotionally invested with a particular driver, like if he/she was a real-world acquaintance of yours. As for most people, I think they'd much rather watch the real-thing in the majority of cases, and it'd take a lot more to get them interesting in watching a sim version.

In contrast, I feel like something like WipEout/F-Zero, Mario Kart, or GT Sport, would have more of its own, independent appeal. Even NFS could be fun to watch, especially with how much you can customize your own car to make a field less homogenous in appearance.

That said, I think racing games in general (both sim and not) have a lot of potential as an eSport, simply because the basic principles are easy for people to understand - especially for non-gamers or non-racing game fans . It's a race - the idea is to finish first, no? Contrast this with something like a MOBA, where it can be very hard for someone not already into MOBAs to understand what's going on.

EDIT: Honestly, I feel like a lot of racing game eSports legaues are just unorganized. Like on the Twitch/YouTube channels, there's just direct ports of the livestream without any editing at all. No highlights curated on Twitch or anything. I feel like if they want this to take off in some way, they're gonna need to try harder. I'd also like things to be unified in a single place in some way, either officially or a fan-compilation. Ideally, I think the ESL should be reserved for pretty much any game other than the ones I initially listed, and the games I listed above could be unified under the FIA somehow.

My idea was that the FIA could make a broader eSports division that includes multiple tiers:
-Tier 1 involves games that have had more in-depth involvement with the FIA in their development. This can include games both based on a licensed FIA series (e.g. CodeMasters' F1 series or the WRC series), but also Gran Turismo Sport, among potential others.

-Tier 2 involves games that lack that more intimate involvement with the FIA, but are still associated with official FIA series. This would include rFactor 2's collaboration with Formula E, as well as Assetto Corsa Competizione's association with the Blancpain GT series. (Unless the devs of AC:C did indeed work with the FIA, in which this particular title can be moved to Tier 1.)

-Tier 3 involves games that have "joint-custody" with another governing body. Let's say, for example, that the FIA wants to have an event based in iRacing. iRacing would be a game that falls into this group because it it also features official championships with governing bodies other than the FIA, such as NASCAR. An external link could be given for that respective governing body, where they would also have a similar listing of championships. (E.g. Peak Antifreeze, Ignite, etc.)

-Tier 4 would include games that are more loosely based on various FIA series, and may not have worked with the FIA nearly as much as the Tier 1 or 2 games, while still potentially featuring FIA-sanctioned series. Examples would include GTE and Forza Motorsport, or WRC & RallyCross in DiRT 4. This potentially could also include official manufacturer's competitions, such as the McLaren "World's Fastest Gamer" championship, or the Forza Motorsport championships that've been closely associated with manufacturers such as Ford.

All of this would be on a nicely laid-out page on the FIA website, where you could select a "platform" (read: game) and you could review the various championships, be linked to that game's external website if you want to view your driver profile for that game (e.g. GT Sport), and view the results of both ongoing series and past championships per game by year. There could also be various highlight clips that may be available for each individual race, as well as little reports you could read regarding patches, content updates, or balancing/BoP updates that may've affected a series.
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